Strawberry hot chocolate served inside of a short see-through glass cup

Strawberry Hot Chocolate

This strawberry hot chocolate recipe is a really delicious and unique way to enjoy delicious strawberries with your family!

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I have a confession to make: I really love hot chocolate. In fact, drinking hot chocolate is kind of an addiction for me. No matter the temperature, or time of the year, nothing feels more satisfying than curling up somewhere, and allowing the creamy warmth of hot cocoa massage my taste buds and soul. It’s kind of a spiritual thing.

Being that I am a Florida gal, it’s actually a big deal for me to be such an avid hot cocoa lover, given the fact that I spend half of the year in notoriously hot and humid conditions. But as someone once told me, you make time for what’s important.

Strawberry Fields, Forever!

For those who do not know, I live in a lovely town, known as Plant City, Florida. Aside from the contributions that Henry B. Plant made towards our establishment as a historic railroad hub, we are also known for something else: Strawberries! Winter is the season that strawberries grow and thrive, and the region around Plant City and Central Florida has a pretty prevalent array of strawberry growers. More specifically, according to Fresh From Florida, if you are interested in purchasing these sweet berries, depending on climate conditions, strawberries typically grow from December until early April. According to the Florida Strawberry Growers Association, the sweet spot to enjoy these berries is typically from late January-early March, when the growing season begins to peak.  But overall, when the temperature and soil conditions align, one can expect to enjoy some pretty sweet and juicy berries.

When Strawberries Meet Hot Chocolate

As you see, I just made a pretty vulnerable confession about my love for hot chocolate, and I also provided some 101 information about Florida’s strawberry season. But what do strawberries and hot chocolate have to do with each other? Well, everything.

You see, I have been trying to figure out a very creative way to enjoy my favorite beverage that incorporates my town’s beloved fruit. Hence, I am very proud to say that I concocted a pretty darn tasty and satisfying strawberry hot chocolate recipe. Forgot the processed strawberry syrup from your grocery store. This recipe contains real strawberries, and white chocolate, which beautifully compliments the berries.

If you’re based out of the Central Florida region and looking for some tasty berries to purchase, I definitely recommend shopping for a flat (or two!) of Strawberries. They can be found at and around the premises of the Florida Strawberry Festival. You will definitely get a good bang for your buck. If you live in the Plant City area, and are looking for some quality white chocolate, definitely hit up my friends over at The Corner Store. They sell quality European white chocolate buttons, by the pound!

Strawberry hot chocolate served inside of a short see-through glass cup
Strawberry hot chocolate

Did I mention how delicious this recipe is?!? If I didn’t mention it, I will assure you that it is!

Even though this recipe will take about 20 minutes to make, I assure you that it’s a pretty simple one. This will be well worth every precious second of your life. Trust me.

Let’s move onto the recipe, shall we??

Strawberry Hot Chocolate

This strawberry hot chocolate recipe is a really delicious and uniqueway to enjoy delicious strawberries with your family!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dessert, Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Hot chocolate, strawberries
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 367kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 4 cups unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk of choice!)
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  • De-stemand coarsely chop the strawberries. Set aside.
  • In a medium-large sauce pan, heat to medium. Gradually add in water, vanillaextract, brown sugar, and strawberries. Take a masher and gradually stir andmash every couple of minutes for about 10-15 minutes, or until the strawberrieshave disintegrated and the sauce reduces into more of a syrup consistency. Then sieve out excess strawberry puplp with a fine straine or cheesecloth (optional).
  • Continue to use the same pot at medium heat with the strawberry syrup, and graduallystir in the milk. Afterwards, gradually add in the white chocolate chips andsalt. Stir for about 2-3 minutes, or until all of the white chocolate chipshave dissolved.
  • Servewith diced strawberries, or whipped cream & enjoy!

Nutritional Information per serving:

367 calories/ 11 grams protein/ 16 grams fat/ 45.6 grams carbohydrates/ 1 gram of fiber

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Mango Nice Cream

 
This cooling summer dish is smooth, creamy, and has just the right amount of spice!
 
 

Click above, to watch my video tutorial
 

Since creating this blog, I have paused to introspect and determine why The Funky Spork platform matters. I created this platform for a couple important reasons, including the following:
 
1.    To share delicious and healthy plant-based recipes, that use attainable ingredients.
 
2.    To promote local & sustainable food systems.
 
This Mango Nice-cream recipe falls within both of these missions. The ingredients for this dish are very simple, as they only involve three ingredients: mangoes, bananas, and chile powder. That simple! This dish also incorporates local food systems, by utilizing mangoes that are locally grown, and in season (it’s currently summer time). If you’re not from Florida, mangoes are grown during Florida’s summertime and thrive between June through October. If you are looking for practical ways to practice sustainability, eating locally and seasonally are great strategies.
 
Just a couple tips, before you begin to create this dessert:
 
1.    I go for a 5:1 ratio, where I will utilize five ripened bananas for every mango used.
2.    The riper your bananas are, the sweeter, and tastier the dish will be. When I say ripe, I mean banana-but bread-worthy ripe.
3.The mango nice cream is gluten-free, vegan, and is minimally processed. You may be scratching your head, and wondering why I would be so crazy as to incorporate chile heat into this dish. You’ve got to trust me when I say that the spiciness of the chile with the sweetness of the mango and banana works. In fact, the incorporation of chile seasoning is inspired by the scrumptious Mexican Mangonada delicacy. This dessert is so delicious, and has so much flavor, that all I can do is allow the recipe to speak for itself. So…let’s move along, and learn how to create this nice cream!  
 
Ingredients:
 
·         5 frozen bananas, peeled
·         1 fresh mango
·         1 tbsp. chile powder  (optional)

Appliances:
 
·         Food processor high speed blender
·         Freezer-friendly container (minimum size 16 oz.)
Directions:
 
1.    Slice each banana into approximately one inch pieces. Set aside
2.    Slice your mangoes in half, peel the skin off, and dice each mango until the pieces are roughly 1” in size. Set aside.
 
3.    In your food processor, place your mango slices. Then place the diced bananas, and chile powder. Make sure that you first place the mango, because that will make the blending process much easier. Pulse the fruit mixture for about 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture resembles a smooth puree. Stir at least two minutes in to ensure smooth blending consistency.
4.    (Optional step) Take puree mixture and gently pour into freezer-friendly container, and spoon the top of the mixture until it is smooth on top. Place in freezer, and let it set for at least thirty minutes, or until the nice cream texture is at a firmer consistency to your liking. Otherwise, you can immediately consume the mixture.
5.    Enjoy with friends on a hot, summer afternoon!
Makes four servings.
 
Nutritional information per serving:
184 calories/ 2.3g protein/0.84g fat/46.7g carbs/ 5.3g fiber
 
 
 


Watermelon Nice Cream

The perfect desert to enjoy with your friends and neighbors on the front porch during a warm & muggy July evening…!



One of my ongoing life goals is to be more intentional with what I eat-seriously! It’s a mantra that I really have to love up to. And to be frank, I’ve been slacking.

With all of this being said, I recently facilitated a community summer cooking demo, where I was charged with showcasing two original recipes that featured seasonal, local ingredients. Being a Florida gal, I figured that the utilization of watermelon seemed like the obvious produce of choice. The watermelon is so refreshing, and the creaminess of the banana really helps to give this a nice, custard-like consistency. Some of the perks?  The Watermelon Nice Cream dish is completely vegan, dairy-free, inexpensive, and super easy to make!

Just a couple tips, before you begin to create this dessert:
1.       Because watermelon is comprised of mostly water (at a rate of about 90%), you will NOT want to overdo it with your incorporation of the melon. Otherwise, the consistency will be too watery, and will have a thickness closer to a smoothie (but if that’s what you’re going for-ham it up!). With this in mind, I go for a 5:1 ratio, where I will utilize five ripened bananas for every 1 cup of fresh watermelon used.
2.       The riper your bananas are, the sweeter, and tastier the dish will be. When I say ripe, I mean banana-but bread-worthy ripe.
3.       This dish goes beautifully with either shredded coconut and/or basil sprinkled over. MMMM!

Here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

·         5 frozen bananas, peeled
·         1 cup of fresh watermelon (cubed)
·         1/8 tsp. salt
·         3 tbsp shredded coconut (optional)
Appliances:
·         Food processor high speed blender
·         Freezer-friendly container (minimum size 16 oz.)


Directions:

1.       Slice each banana into approximately one inch pieces. Set aside.

2.       In your food processor, place your watermelon cubes. Then place the diced bananas, salt, and coconut. Make sure that you first place the watermelon, because that will make the blending process much easier. Pulse the fruit mixture for about 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture resembles a smooth puree. Stir at least two minutes in to ensure smooth blending consistency.

3.       (Optional step) Take puree mixture and gently pour into freezer-friendly container, and spoon the top of the mixture until it is smooth on top. Place in freezer, and let it set for at least thirty minutes, or until the nice cream texture is at a firmer consistency to your liking. Otherwise, you can immediately consume the mixture.

4.       Enjoy with friends on a hot, summer afternoon! 🙂

Makes four servings

Nutritional information per serving (without shredded coconut):
143 calories/ 1.84g protein/0.54g fat/36.6g carbs/ 4g fiber